Trend alert: Vampire-inspired anti-aging treatments
Any die-hard Twilight fan knows that vampires live forever (and have flawless, porcelain skin). Now you can get a taste of what it's like to be one (well, kind of). Vampire injections, the latest cosmetic craze, don't promise immortality, but they are taking a bite out of wrinkles and other signs of facial aging.
What is a vampire facelift?
The term facelift can be a little deceiving because we're not talking about a surgical procedure, but an injection similar to Botox, Youn explains. But it's not Botox; it's blood. "The patient's own blood is used to erase wrinkles and fill in the face, creating a more youthful glow and appearance," he says. These injections go by many names including the vampire facelift, vampire fillers, plasma-rich plasma (PRP) therapy and Selphyl injections -- and they are quickly becoming the new must-try treatment in anti-aging strategies.
How does the treatment work?
If you want Bella-worthy skin, there are a few things that have to happen. First the plastic surgeon will draw a sample of your blood. It's then spun down in a centrifuge where the platelets, fibrin and growth factors in your blood are separated and removed. This platelet-rich concoction is referred to as fibrin matrix (PRFM) and is then re-injected into the face in areas which are hollow or depressed, Youn tells us. "The idea behind the vampire facelift is that this PRFM is chock full of growth factors which can create new collagen, resulting in a filling-out effect to the face, and wrinkles." Hello, Breaking Dawn-inspired beauty!
How effective is it?
The effectiveness of the vampire facelift (or whether or not you'll end up looking like an immortal Cullen) seems dependent on the patient, says Youn, adding that some doctors have reported impressive results in certain patients: "The results I've seen have been more modest. It does appear to work, but its effectiveness compared to other established treatments is still under consideration."
How long does it last?
As with most cosmetic procedures, the results vary from patient to patient, Youn says. Some may see slight improvements immediately, but the full results take three to four weeks to fully develop. The good news is the effects of the procedure can last anywhere from one year to 18 months, outlasting other popular fillers and injectables, he explains.
Side effects to consider
Because the injection is derived from the patient's own blood, there is no risk of allergic reaction and most patients tolerate the treatment very well, Youn explains. Side effects, although uncommon and usually temporary, are similar to those seen in other facial fillers and injections. They can include mild irritation and swelling, bruising, itching and discoloration around the injection site.
Would you get a vampire facelift? Let us know in the comments below!